The essays in this collection, which derive from the conference 'Alienation and Alterity: Otherness in Modern and Contemporary Francophone Contexts', held at the University of Exeter in September 2007, explore various aspects of this ...
Abstract: I argue that for psychological and social reasons, the traditional “Conflict Model” of science and religion interactions has such a strong hold on the nonexpert imagination that counterexamples and claims that interactions are simply more complex than the model allows are inadequate to undermine its power. Taxonomies, such as those of Ian Barbour and John Haught, which characterize conflict as only one among several possible relationships, help. But these taxonomies, by themselves, fail to offer an account of why different (...) relationships prevail among different communities and how they succeed one another within particular communities—that is, they contain no dynamic elements. To undermine the power of the “Conflict Model,” we should be seeking to offer alternative models for science and religion interactions that can both incorporate the range of stances articulated by scholars like Barbour and which can offer an account of the process by which differing attitudes succeed one another. As a step toward this goal, I propose a general “interacting subcultures model” and illustrate its applicability in a small number of mini-case studies from Early Modern Britain and France and with glances toward contemporary America. (shrink)
Tests of models of reciprocal interactions of testosterone and behaviour patterns in honour subcultures, if based on adult samples measured at a single point in time, would be aided by measures of behaviour in such samples that indirectly index basal testosterone levels at earlier developmental ages, for example, hand preference and other measures of cerebral dominance. Such models raise questions about the social preconditions of honour subcultures, and their indirect effects on health.
The impact of Foucault's work can still be felt across a range of academic disciplines. It is nevertheless important to remember that, for him, theoretical activity was intimately related to the concrete practices of self-transformation; as he acknowledged: `I write in order to change myself.' 1 This avowal is especially pertinent when considering Foucault's work on the relationship between sex and power. For Foucault not only theorized about this topic; he was also actively involved in the S&M subculture of (...) the 1970s. Although his explicit discussions of S&M are somewhat piecemeal, in this article I will show how they provide a useful point of access into his broader conception of power relations. Having first reconstructed Foucault's quasi-Sartrean account of creative self-transformation specifically through one's sexuality I will then explain why his defence of S&M (as embodying `strategic' power) is insufficiently sensitive to the inherent ambiguities of this `game'. Key Words: consent desire identity limits pleasure power role-play subjectivity trust. (shrink)
Coffee is an important commodity and an important comestible, one that is momentous not only for nations’ economies but also, at the micro-social level, as a resource for interpersonal sociability. Among a subculture of certain coffee connoisseurs, the coffee itself is a topic that is an organizing focus of, and for, that sociability. This paper is an empirical investigation of online narratives produced by hobbyist participants in what coffee aficionados refer to as the third wave coffee phenomenon and engages (...) and challenges extant perspectives social aspects of taste by inspecting members’ insights concerning their conceptions of taste and their participation in a subculture that comprises taste as an important, central defining aspect. The analytic point of view deployed in this paper is ethnomethodological, one that, instead of emphasizing a priori the social structural characteristics of these connoisseurs as do Bourdieu (In: Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, tr. Richard Nice, Routledge, New York 1984) and those who work in his tradition, emphasizes discovery of members’ own displayed understandings of the topic at hand. As such, this paper is more than an investigation of the coffee geek subculture but is also an invitation to an ethnomethodologically-informed sociology of taste. (shrink)
In his story entitled "Toenails," the surgeon Richard Selzer (1982) warns readers that total immersion in medicine is wrongheaded. Rather, to ensure their own health, doctors should discover other passions that permit them periodically to disconnect from medical practice. Selzer's surgeon character devotes his Wednesday afternoons to the public library, where he joins "a subculture of elderly men and women who gather … to read or sleep beneath the world's newspapers" (p. 69). Among these often eccentric personages is Neckerchief, (...) an arthritic man in his 80s who suffers from severe foot pain. His toenails, never trimmed because of his inability to reach them, have grown so long that they curve beneath his toes and .. (shrink)
There is a substantial question in the philosophy of language whether understanding a language involves knowledge of some metalinguistic facts about words. Does understanding a language in part consist in knowing what the words in that language mean? Most of the debate about this topic is carried out in the philosophy of language proper, where it seems to belong.1 But recently a subculture of philosophers has emerged who have argued that one of the lessons we must draw from issues (...) in the philosophy of logic and theory of truth is that this picture of language understanding is mistaken. These philosophers aim to make sense of the idea that the paradoxes show that our language itself is inconsistent. One way this idea is spelled out is that the semantic facts that are constitutive of the meaning of certain words are inconsistent with each other. Language understanding thus can not be based on knowledge of semantic facts, and not even on true belief about semantic facts. The semantic ‘facts’ we take to obtain about our language don’t obtain, and so they can’t be known or truly believed. Another attempt to make sense of an inconsistency theory is to hold that language understanding involves believe in a false semantic theory. The main proponent of this line of thought is Douglas Patterson who has argued that we can’t know the truth conditional semantic theory for our language that we employ in understanding utterances of English since that truth theory can’t itself be true. The paradoxes show, he argues, that the compositional semantic theories on which language understanding is based itself aren’t true. And since these theories are not true they can not be known, nor can they be the content of a true belief. Language understanding is instead based on sharing a false belief about what semantic facts govern our language. But since this false theory is shared among speakers of the language, communication is still possible. We come to know what speakers are trying to say, even though we do not know what the truth conditions of the sentences they utter are.. (shrink)
David Garland?s The Culture of Control tells us more about the political culture of a post?11 September world than even he must have anticipated. The core of Garland?s cultural argument is his elaboration of a Durkheimian concept of moral individualism, to which he attributes a trend?setting influence lasting into the new millennium. He argues that, among youth, this new cultural influence has an egoistic, hedonistic quality, linked to a non?stop consumption ethos of the new capitalism. He emphasises that it is (...) the disadvantaged rather than the more privileged participants in this hedonistic youth culture who have been singled out for legal exposure and criminal sanctioning in a highly politicised binge of late modern penality. Garland?s prescient account exposes the first and most visible layers of social control that still hide vast inequalities in crime and punishment. There are important untold stories of the unpunished, more privileged participants in the hedonistic ?party? subculture of late modernity. The youthful patrons of this subculture, like their officially deviant counterparts, are disaffiliated and distrustful of conventional institutions, including contemporary work, family and politics. Garland awakens an awareness of our need to learn more about both the sanctioned and unsanctioned youth who are prominent and consequential players in our changing culture and politics. (shrink)
Abstract This paper discusses possibilities of ethical perception, and draws a strong contrast between traditional rationally?based views, and more recent theories involving both narrative and feminist ethical points of view. I argue that these two latter categories share more conceptually than is usually acknowledged, add to this the possibility that some theories of aesthetic perception bear similarity to points of the non?rational moral theories, and discuss whether this similarity is organic or incidental. The finding of structural similarity lends support to (...) writings both of John Dewey and of major poets arguing for the relationship between aesthetic and ethical sensibilities, and to the function of the arts as morally illuminating, not prescriptive. This relationship is explored as it occurs in the subculture of our youth, both in and out of school, and findings are drawn relevant to curriculum design both within and beyond what is conventionally considered moral education. (shrink)
ALAN SOKAL'S HOAX, "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," which was published in the "Science Wars" issue of Social Text ,1 and the debate that has followed it, raise important issues for the left. Sokal's article is a parody of postmodernism, or, more precisely, the amalgam of postmodernism, poststructuralist theory, deconstruction, and political moralism which has come to hold sway in large areas of academia, especially those associated with Cultural Studies. These intellectual strands are not always (...) entirely consistent with each other. For instance, the strong influence of identity politics in this arena seems inconsistent with the poststructuralist insistence on the instability of all identities. Nevertheless, no one who has participated in this arena can deny that it is dominated by a specific, highly distinctive subculture. One knows when one finds oneself in a conference, seminar, or discussion governed by this subculture, by the vocabulary that is used, the ideas that are expressed or taken for granted, and by the fears that circulate, the things that remain unsaid. There are many critiques of the literature that informs this arena, which can for convenience be called postmodernism (though the term poststructuralist.. (shrink)
This study explores the relationship between individual birthplace [rural birthplace (RB) and urban birthplace (UB)] and consumer unethical behavior (CUB). As a result, CUB is verified to closely relate to individual birthplace, and those new urban residents with RB are found to behave more ethically than the patrimonial urban residents with UB in CUB 4 (“no harm/no foul”). This study also finds that the differentiation of CUB between two categories of consumers is correlated with the personal moral ideology or Machiavellianism (...) (MA) functioning with varying degree, which idealism ideology is a main variable impacting on the unethical behaviors of the members born in the rural subculture while MA for those in the urban one. Additionally, the “no harm/no foul” (CUB 4 ) and the “actively benefiting from a questionable action” (CUB 3 ) in the list of CUBs are found to be more efficient in discriminating the two groups than the other two kinds, the “passively benefiting at the expense of others” (CUB 2 ) and the “actively benefiting from an illegal activity” (CUB 1 ). The results shed light on the roles of individual birthplace in influencing CUB and contribute to a better understanding on the effects of subculture on CUB. (shrink)
I examine the new analysis of gay community and liberation offered by Dennis Altman in The Homosexualization of America. Three distinctive theoretical constructs are analyzed and criticized: (1) a new view of psychosocial development; (2) a new concept of gay identity; and (3) A set of causal hypotheses designed to explain the new direction of the gay subculture.
This article focuses on the next generation of entrepreneurs likely to emerge in Silicon Valley. It profiles two tech-savvy college students and describes the Valley’s demographics and subculture to show how previous models of the entrepreneur (the pre-Internet and geek subculture varieties) are blending to form a new sort of entrepreneur for a computer industry in transition.
Stereotypical images of Appalachians abound in entertainment media. When CBS proposed transplanting a poor Appalachian family to California for a reality television show titled The Real Beverly Hillbillies, Appalachians and advocacy groups were outraged. This article explores ethical issues raised by stereotypical portrayals of Appalachians and potential harm from those stereotypes as well as the reality from which they emerged. Using the theories of Levinas, Kant, and Aristotle, we then examine the ethics of stereotyping Appalachians and other subcultures in entertainment (...) media. Finally, we propose a decision tree to aid producers of entertainment media in creating ethical portrayals of fictional characters and real people. (shrink)
This paper assesses the potential of organisational culture as a means for improving ethics in organisations. Organisational culture is recognised as one determinant of how people behave, more or less ethically, in organisations. It is also incresingly understood as an attribute that management can and should influence to improve organisational performance. When things go wrong in organisations, managers look to the culture as both the source of problems and the basis for solutions. Two models of organisational culture and ethical behaviour (...) are evaluated. They rest on different understandings of organisational culture and the processes by which ethics are enhanced. Firstly, the prevailing approach holds that creating a unitary cohesive culture around core moral values is the solution to enhancing ethical behaviour. Both the feasibility and desirability of this approach, in terms of ethical outcomes, is questioned. The second model queries the existence of organisational culture at all, arguing that organisations are nothing more than shifting coalitions of subcultures. In this second model, the very porousness of the subcultures provides a catalyst for the scrutiny and critique of norms and practices. Such diversity and debate is construed as potentially a better safeguard for ethical behaviour than the uniformity promised by the unitary, strong culture model. (shrink)
Bourdieu's theory of culture offers a rich conceptual resource for the social-scientific study of religion. In particular, his analysis of cultural capital as a medium of social relations suggests an economic model of religion alternative to that championed by rational choice theorists. After evaluating Bourdieu's limited writings on religion, this paper draws upon his wider work to craft a new model of "spiritual capital." Distinct from Iannaccone's and Stark and Finke's visions of "religious capital," this Bourdieuian model treats religious knowledge, (...) competencies, and preferences as positional goods within a competitive symbolic economy. The valuation of spiritual capital is the object of continuous struggle and is subject to considerable temporal and subcultural variation. A model of spiritual capital illuminates such phenomena as religious conversion, devotional eclecticism, religious fads, and social mobility. It also suggests some necessary modifications to Bourdieu's theoretical system, particularly his understanding of individual agency, cultural production, and the relative autonomy of fields. (shrink)
Social attitudes toward usury (here defined using the archaic meaning as the taking of interest on loans) have changed dramatically over the centuries. From antiquity until the Protestant Reformation, usury was regarded as an inherently evil activity. Today, with few exceptions, usury is met with moral indifference. Modern objections to usury are limited to protest against "excessive" interest rates rather than interest per se. With this change in focus, the very meaning of the term "usury" has also changed. Many early (...) pronouncements against the taking of interest emphasized the plight of the poor, but ironically, the poor actually pay the highest rates of interest in the modern American economy. Despite the universality of usury, some socio-economic subcultures still manage to avoid the taking or giving of interest. Orthodox branches of both Judaism and Islam have maintained bans on usury throughout the centuries and up to the present time. This is especially interesting in the case of Judaism, given the popular cultural image of the Jew as usurer. Jewish free loan systems may actually offer a model for modern loan programs that can be designed to aid poor borrowers, who are frequently shut out of mainstream financial services. (shrink)
Electronic Dance Music Culture (EDMC) is one of the largest subcultural musical movements in history. The dance floor is a creative context that engenders a freedom among participants to reshape their social identity within the Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ) that raves, the central spaces for EDMC, provide. On the dance floor, participants enter into powerful trances that have the capacity to reshape notions of self and personhood. This paper examines such identity discourses and suggests that trance consciousness re-constitutes the bodily (...) self as an interaction rather than a corporeal body, radically altering the internal dialogue from which notions of self originate. I illuminate this process by articulating the phenomenal experience of musical trancing with scientific theories of human consciousness. Drawing on the ideas of Merleau-Ponty and Damasio, I suggest an integrative model of consciousness that sheds new light upon the complex layering of trance experiences. The potential benefit of this model lies in its ability to theoretically capture the ineffable musical experience and reveal salient processes underlying the self-transformation reported in subjective narratives. This is pertinent not only to EDMC and other musical cultures, but to our more general understanding of the relationship between self and experience in the world. (shrink)
The ongoing debate over multiculturalism involves, among other issues, what might be called the quest for cultural validation: the desire of racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities to be seen as legitimate in their own right. Black, feminist, and gay subcultures, among others, wish to assert their particular differences from prevailing social norms and want to be accepted by the larger culture they are challenging. Legitimacy will be achieved when society incorporates the subcultural differences as normal social variation and when (...) minorities secure the same rights and protections enjoyed by those in the mainstream. This process of validation and acceptance, slow though it may be, is characteristic of our liberal western democracy, so that the indigenous cultural "repertoire" or "palette" has become increasingly diverse. (shrink)
Protagonists in the so-called Science Wars differ most markedly in their views about the role of values in science and what makes science valuable. Scientists and philosophers of science have traditionally considered the principal aims of science to be explanation and application. Only cognitive values should influence what is taken to be explanatory. Social and political values affect the priority assigned to various scientific problems and the ways in which scientific results are applied. Ethical considerations may be brought to bear (...) on the treatment of human and animal subjects, and the manner in which scientific results are communicated. Recent critiques of science allege that the content of scientific explanations reflects the dominant ideology and interests of scientists and their patrons. Instead of calling for more value neutrality, some now urge that science take as a principal aim the emancipation of oppressed subcultures. Not only should progressive political values be allowed to set the problems attempted, they also should be used to constrain the types of answers which are pursued. Since scientific knowledge is constructed by us, we should take responsibility for its content. This paper argues that the project of Emancipationist science is impractical and self-defeating. There is good reason to believe that there would be unresolvable political disputes concerning which kinds of scientific theories are truly emancipiatory. Furthermore, just as placebos cease to work when recognized as such, so would a science known to be constrained by political considerations lose its special epistemic authority. (shrink)
In this paper, I would like to discuss two recent attempts to incorporate groupdifferentiated rights and entitlements into a broadly liberal conception of distributive justice. The first is John Roemer’s “pragmatic theory of responsibility,” and the second is Will Kymlicka’s defense of minority rights in “multinational” states.1 Both arguments try to show that egalitarianism, far from requiring a “color-blind” system of institutions and laws that is insensitive to ethnic, linguistic or subcultural differences, may in fact mandate special types of rights, (...) entitlements, or compensatory arrangements for members of minority groups. These proposals are attractive because they attempt to ground these special rights without reference to controversial philosophical doctrines, but merely through appeal to the widely accepted political norm of equality. Furthermore, if either of these arguments were to succeed, it would allow liberals to avoid many of the difficulties that have often led proponents of “the politics of difference” or the “politics of recognition” to adopt an oppositional stance toward more traditional forms of liberalism.2.. (shrink)
By the early part of the twentieth century, academia in the English-speaking world had stabilized (or ossified!) into a set of scientific and humanistic disciplines that still survives at the century’s end. The natural sciences have such disciplines as physics, chemistry, and biology, and the social sciences include economics, psychology, and sociology. These disciplines provide a convenient organizing principle for university departments and professional organizations, but they often bear little relation to cuttingedge research, which can concern topics that cut across (...) or occur at the boundaries of two or more of the established disciplines. When this happens, productive research and teaching must be interdisciplinary. Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind, embracing psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. It is undoubtedly one of the major interdisciplinary successes of the twentieth century, with its own society, journal, and textbooks, and with more than sixty cognitive science programs established at universities in North American and Europe. This paper is an attempt to answer the question: What are the factors contributing to the success of the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science? My discussion is organized around the metaphor of the trading zone, a novel and fertile analogy that Gallison (1997) developed for his rich and detailed discussion of the practices of twentieth-century physics. To understand the diverse groups of December 1, 2006 experimenters and theoreticians, Gallison presents their interactions in terms of the trading zones described by anthropologists: Subcultures trade. Anthropologists have extensively studied how different groups, with radically different ways of dividing up the world and symbolically organizing its parts, can not only exchange goods but also depend essentially on those trades.. (shrink)
The gendered subcultures of our society may have different value systems. Consequently, sexual activity that involves members of these subcultures may be problematic, especially concerning the encoding and decoding of consent. This has serious consequences for labelling the activity as sex or sexual assault. Conceiving consent not as a mental act but as a behavioural act (that is, using a performative standard) would eliminate these problems. However, if we remove the mental element from one aspect, then to be consistent we (...) must remove it from all; and, as a result, the “mistaken belief” defense would be eliminated and mens rea would become insignificant (in other words, if what the woman means is irrelevant, then what the man believes or intends should also be irrelevant). This consequence suggests major changes to our current conceptions of legal justice, which changes, if undesirable, prompt reconsideration of the initial proposal to use a performative standard for consent. (shrink)
This paper attempts to explain why and how the middle class in Korea decisively joined the democratic movement in 1987 by drawing special attention to the role played by the middling grassroots (MG). MG was formed out of the common experience of student activism and contesting subcultures, which were widely dispersed over Korean university campuses during the 1980s. In addition, this paper examines the contrasting views on the Korean democratic transition by Bruce Cumings and Adam Przeworski. This substantive analysis attempts (...) to show how such discord can be resolved by working out a mediating variable between action and social structure. It is suggested that the concept of MG is a good example of such a mediating variable. (shrink)
The framework in which, better than in any other, cultural complexity becomes clear as a network of perspectives is the city: it is here that the greatest variety of subcultures, together with the widest range of contrasting modalities, seems able to handle its meaning. The city is at the same time an active place of cultural production and a passive and active place of memory keeping. It fuels styles and models of sensitivity also, and especially, through art and architecture. Therefore, (...) it becomes itself a cultural model able to orient taste, but also to continually disorient it through agency. Starting from the revitalization of the cultural capital of the cities, art can play the important role of cultural magnet by catalyzing moods and emotions, conveying otherwise chaotic needs and languages, promoting new tolerance and social and cultural integration. However, in the meantime, from a secluded and distinct place that organizes the use of cultural and artistic products within recognizable boundaries, the city is becoming an undifferentiated place, a city-beyond, scattered and/or boundless. Characterized by the undifferentiated and the mutant, the uncertain and the liquid, the deformable and the relative, the space of art perception will be rethought within and without the city. (shrink)
Contemporary electronic music has splintered into a dizzying assortment of genres and subgenres, communities and subcultures. Given the ideological differences among academic, popular and avant-garde electronic musicians, is it possible to derive an aesthetic theory that accounts for this variety? And is there even a place for aesthetics in twenty-first-century culture? Listening through the Noise explores genres ranging from techno to electroacoustic music, from glitch to drone music, and from dub to drones, and maintains that culturally and historically informed aesthetic (...) theory is not only possible but indispensable for understanding electronic music. The abilities of electronic music to use preexisting sounds and to create new sounds are widely known. Author Joanna Demers proceeds from this starting point to consider how electronic music is changing the way we listen not only to music, but to sound itself. The common trait among all variants of recent experimental electronic music is a concern with whether sound, in itself, bears meaning. The use in recent works of previously undesirable materials like noise, field recordings, and extremely quiet sounds has contributed to electronic music's destruction of the "musical frame," the conventions that used to set apart music from the outside world. In the void created by the disappearance of the musical frame, different philosophies for listening have emerged. Some electronic music genres insist upon the inscrutability and abstraction of sound. Others maintain that sound functions as a sign pointing to concepts or places beyond the work. But all share an approach towards listening that departs fundamentally from the expectations that have governed music listening in the West for the previous five centuries. (shrink)
This study investigates the differences in ethical beliefs between blacks and whites in the United States. Two hundred and thirty four white students and two hundred and fifty five black students were presented with two scenarios and given the Reidenbach-Robin instrument measuring their ethical reactions to the scenarios.Contrary to previous research, the results indicate that the two groups, which belong to different subcultures, have similar ethical beliefs.
The new push to move political issue activity from the federal to the state and local levels—a new New Federalism—has implicationsfor the ethical and political legitimacy of business political activity. While business political activity at the federal level may be both lesscostly and less risky than when action shifts to states or localities, at the state or local level it is likely to be more visible, and individual firms may be perceived to have more power. Increased corporate power raises questions (...) about the legitimacy of firm involvement in the political process at the state and local levels. The issue of legitimacy is viewed in the context of the literature on political subcultures being used to study state economic development. (shrink)
This volume comprises a number of letters between author Anindita Niyogi Balslev and philosopher Richard Rorty. The letters explore ways to generate a creative and critical crosscultural discourse not only by challenging stereotypes about cultures and subcultures in general and traditions of thought in particular, but by being careful not to abolish the common ground on which stereotypes can be addressed.
Contemporary sociosemiotics is a way to transcend borderlines between trends inside semiotics, and also other disciplines. Whereas semiotics has been considered as an interdisciplinary field of research par excellence, sociosemiotics can point directions at transdisciplinary research. The present article will try toconjoin the structural and the processual views on culture and society, binding them together with the notion of signification. The signification of space willillustrate the dynamic between both cultures and metacultures, and cultural mainstreams and subcultures. This paper pays attention (...) to the practice of sociocultural semiotisation of space and territorialisation by diverse examples and different sociocultural levels that imply semiotic cooperation between several members of groups that can be characterised as socii. We analyse territorialisation by graffiti, by furnishing spatial environment through artistic manners, by shaping the semiotic essence of cities through naming, renaming and translating street names, by pinning and structuring territories with monuments, by landmarking and mapping cultural space through individualisation of cities. We will see how principles of semiotisation of space are valid on different levels (individual and social, formal and informal, democratic and hegemonic, cultural and subcultural) and how these principles form a transdisciplinary object of study as ‘semiotisation of space’, and how space can be regarded as a genuinely transdisciplinary research object. Individual, culture, and society are connected in such an object both as constituents and as a background of study. (shrink)